The economic winds appear to be blowing briskly at Port Canaveral. Expect to see more cruise passengers, larger cruise liners and generally more visitors at the Brevard County port.
A new cruise terminal and 1,000-vehicle parking facility are scheduled to open in November 2014. The 185,000-square-foot terminal, projected to cost up to $85 million, will be located on the south side of the harbor. It will handle the largest cruise ships currently sailing as well as the 6,000-passenger vessels in design. Notably, on average, one home-ported cruise ship is expected to generate $250 million in annual community impact and create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs.
Additionally, this past November the $23 million, seven-story Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral opened, featuring an observation deck, exhibits, event space for lease and auditorium, among other amenities. The 22,000-square-foot tower is expected to be a magnet for visitors to Brevard, as well as “convey the rich maritime history of Port Canaveral.” The tower also includes a virtual ship’s bridge that allows visitors to pilot a boat through the Canaveral Channel.
“This is an exciting time as we expand our operations to meet the demands of our customers and the resulting jobs and economic impact for our community,” comments Tom Weinberg, chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Commission.